Massage Cream Can Be Natural and Luxurious, MASSAGE MagazineIf you are searching for a massage lotion that not only offers that perfect blend of friction and glide, but also provides each client with the ultimate in skin hydration, there is no need to look to the science lab. Mother Nature produces plenty of ingredients that can be combined to create this kind of massage cream.

For starters, there’s cocoa butter, derived from the same delightful beans that are used to produce chocolate. A form of pure vegetable fat, cocoa butter is pale and edible, extracted from cacao seeds, or cocoa beans.

Cocoa butter is made when the cocoa beans are cleaned, crushed and ground into a paste. The paste is then heated until it becomes what is called “chocolate liquor.” This liquid is subsequently pressed to separate the cocoa butter from the cocoa solids.

One reason cocoa butter is a key ingredient in so many massage creams is because of its powerful ability to moisturize skin, leaving it soft and supple after a massage session. The fact that cocoa butter melts at around body temperature means it can be easily absorbed into skin, which only adds to its moisturizing capacity.

In addition, cocoa butter is rich in vitamin E, which is reported to not only reduce scarring, but also smooth wrinkles and help erase other signs of aging. In fact, cocoa butter often is recommended to pregnant women looking to prevent stretch marks, as well as people suffering from various skin conditions.

Avocado is another natural ingredient that can make for a luxurious massage cream. Typically, it is avocado oil that is used in massage creams, and this oil is loaded with vitamins A and C, as well as a high fat content, all of which add up to smoother, softer and well-protected skin at the end of a massage or bodywork session.

Interestingly, avocado oil is one of the few vegetable oils that is not pressed from its seed or pit, but rather from its soft, buttery flesh. The vitamin A that’s found in this oil, as well as in other fruit and vegetables, has been shown to help strengthen the protective tissue of the skin, prevent acne and act as an antioxidant, neutralizing harmful elements to boost youthful skin.

As for the vitamin C within avocado oil, it also has skin-boosting benefits. This vitamin is important when it comes to collagen synthesis, and vitamin C also has been shown to help fight off free radicals, which are elements that contribute to aging skin.

These are two examples of the kind of natural ingredients one might find in a massage cream that can be incredibly hydrating and healing for the skin of your massage and bodywork clients. Other natural components of a high-quality massage cream might include soy oil, aloe vera, nut butters, fruit extracts, herbs and many more.

The beauty of a well-developed massage cream is that it can bring such wonderful benefits to the person on your table, and it can also help enhance your own hands-on skills.

—Brandi Schlossberg